The Hallam Hawks will be known as the Hallam Klu-Roong Football Netball Club as of this week, as we look to pay our respects to the traditional owners of our land for 2022 Reconciliation Week.
The Indigenous Round at Hallam has been two years in the making and is now one of the most anticipated fixtures we have seen from the club.
The club prides itself on inclusivity, with a large number of Indigenous people involved in the club, including Reserves Coach and Senior Assistant Alex Kerr.
“The round means everything,” Kerr told us in the lead up to the game.
“This is launched as the first official indigenous round we have ever done, it is the first step into many in the future.”
A proud Wurundjeri man and traditional owner of the land the club plays on in Hallam, Kerr designed the commemorative guernsey with his brother Ash Kerr.
The design features four totems with different animals representing the journey of four players.
“The jumper is the pathway from each animal into the circle in the middle and each pathway represents the individual’s journey, and they all meet up at the Hallam Hawks where we are now,” he says.
Therefore representing a welcoming feel for what is such a strong community club.
“When I first got there it was just me, but over the last three years it has grown to between ten and fifteen indigenous people (at the club),” Kerr says the community is growing more each year.
The name ‘Klu-Roong’ is derived from the Indigenous word for ‘Hawk’ and when the club saw Melbourne rename themselves as Naarm for Sir Doug Nicholls Round in the AFL, they thought it was a great idea.
“We asked around Aunties and Uncles who know their (Woiwurrung) language and came back with Klu-Roong.”
Along with the special edition guernseys, the day will be jam-packed with ceremonies and traditions.
With COVID disrupting the men’s football Indigenous round from going ahead last year, the women’s football will compete in the new jumpers for the second time this year.
Whilst the boys will finally get to showcase them for the first time.
The day commences at 10am with Hallam’s women’s side hosting Endeavour Hills.
With a welcome to country, smoking ceremony, didgeridoo performance and gift exchange.
“A couple of girls from Endeavour Hills are related to us, and are indigenous as well, so we’re joining both clubs to do the ceremony together,” This will be followed by the reserves and seniors against Dandenong which Kerr hopes to be a continued tradition, and for it to grow each year.
Adding a very special touch, the Best on Ground will be awarded handmade and painted boomerangs, made by Alex himself.
“It’s about showcasing your talent, showcasing culture, for our sport, it provides an opportunity to shine.”
Join the Hallam Klu-Roong in celebrating their inaugural Indigenous Round at Hallam Reserve on Saturday June 4.
National Reconciliation Week (27 May - 3 June) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.